Austrian anti-doping officials slam WADA's meldonium policy


April 21, 2016
San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (centre) drives to the basket around Memphis Grizzlies guard Jordan Farmar (4) during Game two of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series, Tuesday, in San Antonio, Texas. (AP Photo)


Austrian anti-doping authorities have slammed World Aanti-doping Association's decision to relax its guidelines for meldonium cases, saying it's "a bad signal" ahead of the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The ethics commission of Austria's national anti-doping agency says on its website "the partial amnesty for many meldonium cases ... is a setback to the efforts for a clean and doping-free sport."

The commission says "this decision snubs fair athletes who do not dope and stick to the rules".

More than 170 athletes, mainly from Eastern Europe, have failed doping tests since meldonium became a banned substance on January 1, 2016.

Last week, the World Anti-Doping Agency said athletes could avoid sanctions if their sample showed only minor traces of meldonium, indicating that they stopped taking the drug before it was banned.

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